Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

UPDATES

• Additions to Eddie Bond discography.
• Massive update on Blake Records. Thanks to Eric from Goner Records (Memphis, TN)!
• Discography updates on Willie Gregg.

Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cinci's Mid-Day Merry-Go Round

The WCPO-TV studio, where the Mid-Day Merry-Go Round was broadcasted from. At far left you can see Big Jim Stacy talking with an WCPO employee.
Every person who deals with early country music crossed paths with the Mid-Day Merry Go-Round on WNOX out of Knoxville, Tennessee. Stars like Bill Carlisle, Don Gibson, Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters, Chet Atkins, and many more. But Cincinnati's Mid-Day Merry-Go Round is a much more less known country music show that never gained as much fame as its Tennessee counterpart.

WCPO-TV signed on the air on July 26,1949, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The first show that was broadcasted was the country & western outfit "Mid-Day Merry-Go Round", hosted by "Big" Jim Stacy. Stacey remembers his first show as follows:

The logo appeared on the screen for my show - 'Midday Merry-Go-Round'. You heard the Ramblers playing in the background, then the announcer's voiceover. Dick Woods was his name. He went into his intro... 'And now, here's BIG JIM STACY!' Then you saw me in my cowboy hat. 'Howdy, friends and neighbors, and welcome to the very first Midday Merry-Go-Round...

The group Stacy mentions were the Bluegrass Ramblers, the house band for the show that provided also music for the next show, "Meet the Ladies". The Mid-Day Merry-Go Round was on the air every day from noon to 1 p.m. During one hour, Stacy presented country music artists from Cincinnati and the region, such as Al Runyon, the Davis Sisters and Delbert Barker. Runyon (1918-1998) was also a member of WCPO's Corn Husker Jamboree and recorded for Carl Burckhardt's budget labels such as Gateway, Big 4 Hits, and others - just as Delbert Barker did. He performed on the Mid-Day Merry-Go Round from 1951-1953 and was discovered by Burckhardt on one of the shows. From 1951 to 1956, Barker recorded for Burckhardt.

Davis Sisters
Delbert Barker
Al Runyon
Big Jim Stacy

It appears that the Mid-Day Merry-Go Round was on the air during the 1950s and the early 1960s, where it ceased broadcasting at some point. Host Jim Stacy died in 2001.

Sources
  • Jim Friedman: "Cincinnati Television", Arcada Publishing
  • Hillbilly-Music.com
  • Special thanks to Delbert Barker

9 comments:

Jesus el Rocker said...

Hey my friend, a wonderful blog! Congratulation.
Best regards and now I will be an usual visitor here.

gary watson said...

Big Jim, was my Grandfather in Law. WCPO has NOT given this man the credit he deserves! He was the 1st person to face a camera for this station back in 1950. He hosted many shows for them thru out the 1950's. He was even on the cover of the Springfield Ohio phone book. I recall as a child that he hosted 6 gun Theater in the very early 60's. He and his bands recorded records at the King recording studio as well. Anyway he was an ICON in early Cinti television and entertainment!. I truly miss him. I enjoyed the many sit downs we had and talked of the OLD DAYS in broadcasting!!!! WCPO give this man his JUST due in spite of Mort Waters!

June young said...

I am June (Stacey) Young, Big Jim Stacey's oldest and only daughter. I want to thank all who contributed to this. My father came from the hills of Hazard KY, a rags to riches story. The riches was the years he was on TV, 1949 to 1961. I can tell you he was one of Cincinnati's big Stars at that time. He was the first one to sign on Channel 7 which changed to Channel 9. There were no tapes, every thing was live TV, if mistakes were made you saw them. As a kid I was constatly on his TV and radio programs, in fact my bedroom was where the radio program came from for a while. I even have a picture of me and my girlfriends at the turn table.
Dad always felt having been the first to sign on channel 9, WCPO should have given him more credit especally at thier anniversary times, but he was hardly mentioned. At that time there was only 5 and 9(7) on the air. And he was a big star all that time, he did not leave WCPO willingly. If Dad had his way he would have still been on TV until the day he died in 2001 as result of a car accident. I even thought then, WCPO should have given him a tribute then since he was the first to sign that station on and thier biggest star for over 10 years. Again thank you for this site, Dad would of loved it. At the time right before he died I was trying to get him into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, but that ideal died with him.

Mellow said...

Gary and June,

thank you very much for your comments and nice words. If I'd have more info, I could write a whole post about Big Jim Stacey.

Joan Leonard said...

My Aunt was a guest singer on Midday Merry Go Round. I went down with her to the show. I must have been around 10. Big Jim was there that day and the Davis Sisters, Jimmy Williams, What a thrill that was for me.

Dorothy Miller said...

My Mother sang on the show . How would I get a CD or even a picture of her while on there singing . EMAIL ME AT (dottie7258@yahoo.com) if you can help me.

Dan Rogg said...

June, my uncle, Joe Rogg, was on Mr. Stacy's show as a clown. He was part of a group called THE FOUR FANATICS. Mr. Stacy came to our house in Dayton, My one time for a benefit carnival for my little brother to help pay for his surgery. I always admired Big Jim. He was a true gentleman and a very talented pioneer!!!

carol stacy said...

Big Jim was my uncle and I remember him, daddy, Buster and Ronald , sitting around our house pickin with a reel to reel going recording all they played. What a way to live early childhood. I wonder whatever happened to those tapes.

pan stacey said...

Carol
Garry and I have some reel to reel tapes of his dad's